Different people have a different idea of vacationing. For some it might mean a peaceful, quiet experience spent in the midst of calming nature. For some vacationing may be all about spending time with family, whereas for others it could mean a solo trip or valuable ‘me’ time. Where some might want to laze and relax it out, for some a vacation or holiday may be all about adventure and adrenaline.
For those who look for fun and action for a few days, adventure sporting destinations are a wonderful option. Adventure sporting refers to any of those activities that revolve around speed, risk or any kind of physical action. Secretly, I am sure even the most laid back of vacationers wouldn’t mind trying at least one adventure sport in their lifetime, just for its kicks. We are often wowed by the people performing life altering, sometimes threatening stunts. These could be heart pounding such as mountain biking or bungee jumping. Or soul altering such as scuba diving or a hot air balloon ride.
There are those adventure activities that bring us closer to nature, be it trekking or camping. And then there are those that are worth all the effort for the sheer satisfaction at the end of it all, such as rock climbing or ice climbing. But every adventure sport is however, largely about fighting the internal demons of fear and terror. Of letting go of inhibitions and believing in the power or self. It is also of course, about following safety measures and trusting your instincts. About not getting arrogant or too carried away, yet finding the right balance of outwitting fear to face victory.
If you are someone who likes to take the plunge and explore the brave corners of adventure sports, then read on. Here we bring to you the top seven destinations in India that are a must visit if you are an adventure and adrenaline sporting junkie. But even if you are a laid back traveler who likes to take things slow, it is worth checking these destinations out for sure. Because who doesn’t like, if not always, but at least once in a while, to counter and brave the seemingly impossible.
Rishikesh in Uttarakhand is one of the leading destinations when it comes to adventure sports in India. There are a few activities that one can enjoy in Rishikesh, however the most popular adventure sport is river rafting. Rishikesh is also known as the Gate to the Himalayas and white water rafting along the Ganga River is one of the most fascinating sporting adventures to endure here. The city has various rafting related training and booking facilities. Also, the Ganga is perfect for rafting experience because it has different Grades from I to IV of rapids and ups and downs to traverse. Some of the rapids such as Double Trouble and Sweet Sixteen are extremely fun and exciting. In total there are around 13 rapids across the river that adventure lovers can enjoy. The best time for white rafting in Rishikesh is from September to June, though you can avoid the winter months if you are not someone who is too fond of the chill.
Besides, white water rafting, Rishikesh is also known for bunjee jumping. Rishikesh has one of the highest Bunjee jumping platform or podium in India. Falling from a height of 83m with the Ganga plunging below is definitely one of the best thrilling experience one can have. Some of the other adventure sporting activities in Rishikesh include giant swings, flying fox, mountain climbing, kayaking and paragliding.
Goa needs no introduction when it comes to water sports. With myriad beaches, one is never short of water sporting activities in Goa. Water sports has a whole range of stuff that one can try out. From flyboarding, surfing, water skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, windsurfing, water scooters, river cruising, rafting and more Goa is heaven for those who want to splash their way through water adventure sports. Also, because Goa is a popular tourist destination a lot of international travelers also make their way here. The standard and security for various water sports is good and there are multiple agents and facilities to choose from. Again, depending on the water sporting activity that you want to try you can choose the particular destination within Goa itself. For example, Candolim and Mobor are well known for knee boarding and wakeboarding. Similarly, Baga, Utorda and Calangute are popular for water skiing, Morjim for kite boarding, Arambol and Baga for parasailing etc. On the other hand, popular destinations such as Baga, Mobor, Palolem and Calangute have many water sporting adventures to avail from.
Besides water sports, some of the other adventure sports popular in Goa include, camping, hot air balloon rides, trekking, hiking etc.
The northeast of India has some gems for sure. Meghalaya is one such destination that is fraught with adventure sports. The best is of course caving. Meghalaya is the land of caves tucked inside forests and waterfalls. For explorers taking a walk inside the caves is a wonderful experience as one understands the change in temperature and the beauty that stands out within its walls. Shillong has many caves waiting to be discovered and Mawjymbuin Caves is located in one of the wettest places in the world. Exploring the caves is also a much less expensive adventure than many other adventure sporting activities.
Besides caving you can also try out river canyoning in Sohra. One would need to swim, trek and also feel the sheer force of the waterfalls around. Water rappelling is also quite popular especially at the Elephant Falls in Shillong. One can also try mountain biking, trekking and water sports at the Umiam Water complex for more adventure sports.
4. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
When one thinks of the Andamans, you are struck by the pristine water beauty of the place. The adventure sporting scene in Andaman is no different for it explores the innocent splendidness of the region. Scuba diving is however Andaman’s most priced adventure sport. Best done at Havelock Island, North Bay Island and Neil Island, the colorful and absolute magnificent beauty of the underwater will definitely transcend through space and time. The other adventure activities in Andaman include sea walking, another heart touching activity, boating on glass bottom boats, banana boat rides, snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing, water skiing and more.
Ladakh is all about the mighty Himalayas. Trekking is Ladakh’s most important forte into adventure activities. There are a number of different trekking experiences that can be undertaken depending on experience and physical strength. Some treks are advised for veteran trekkers, whereas many can be accomplished by novices too. Some of the popular treks in Ladakh include the stunning Chadar trek which is a walk along the frozen Zaskar River during the winters. Some of the other treks are the Stok Kangri trek, the Markha Valley trek and more.
Besides, trekking mountain biking is another exciting dare to try out here because of the daunting landscape. There is also river rafting on Zaskar and Indus, camping, rock climbing and many other adventure sporting activities to try out in Ladakh.
Rajasthan is a historical adventure. But there is much more to it when it comes to thrills. The hot air balloon rides in Pushkar are by far one of the best bird eye views that one can hope for. The landscape of the region unfolds as one rises up and the views from top are magnificent. The hot air balloons are very popular during the Pushkar Camel Fair. Besides, Jaipur is also well known for paragliding and Udaipur and Alwar are great water sport destinations.
Rajasthan’s adventures continue with camping in the desert and visiting its various wildlife abodes at Bharatpur, Jodhpur and Bikaner. Besides, one can also try trekking, zip lining, jeep safari and more in Rajasthan. So next time when you are awed by the royal beauty of the state, take some time out for its adventure sports too.
7. North India for winter sports
There are a few destinations that you can try for winter sporting activities if you enjoy the chills as much as the thrill. Gulmarg is great for skiing and ice climbing too. One can climb up the frozen waterfalls during winter with proper training and safety equipment. Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are also under the cover of snow and hence Auli is another splendid skiing destination for both beginners and experienced adventurers. Some other skiing destinations include Tawang, Solang, Pahalgam and more.
There are other adventure sporting destinations, such as Amby Valley in Maharashtra and Mysore for skydiving, Kasauli for hang gliding, Bir for paragliding, Dandeli for trekking and many more.
Finally, let not the adventure in you subside ever. It’s time to take the leap of faith and enjoy the adrenaline rush of fear and victory by vacationing at the various adventure sporting destinations in India.